Girls Basketball: Pequot Lakes sisters find success together
Maci and Kelsi Martini have both scored 1,000 career points for the Patriots
PEQUOT LAKES — When teammates play together long enough, they can often develop a keen sense of where the other person will be on the court at any given time.
Now imagine if those teammates have played together since they could hold a basketball, as is the case for Pequot Lakes’ Maci and Kelsi Martini.
When we were younger, we'd watch our cousins' games all the time and watch games on TV. I'd say that's like where it started.
Senior Maci and junior Kelsi are the daughters of Shaun and Lisa Martini, and have grown up on the basketball court, spending time there whenever they have had free time.
“I like how competitive (basketball) is and that not everyone can excel at it,” Maci said. “You have to have the mental part and physical part of it. … When we were younger, we'd watch our cousins' games all the time and watch games on TV. I'd say that's like where it started.”
Cut to their varsity days, where the pair have been anchors for the Patriot girls. The two have also managed to do something that can be tough for siblings: be on the same team without fighting.
“We have never really had to fight for the same position, so that helps,” Kelsi said. “It has been super fun, though, because we can read each other really well when we are playing.”
Maci also said that, because the two work so hard together in the offseason, they tend to be more encouraging and supportive of each other.
All of the work that we put in, almost all of it has been together. ... We are big contributors to each other’s success.
The sisters actually rose to basketball prominence as middle-schoolers, participating in and often winning a number of free-throw competitions.
“It’s actually my favorite thing to practice,” Maci said, laughing. “I know a lot of people don’t agree.”
On the court for the Patriots, the Martinis have found plenty of success. In addition to being key pieces of last season’s state-qualifying team, Maci scored her 1,000th career point last season, and Kelsi did the same Jan. 24
“We know how hard we work for those (accomplishments),” Kelsi said. “It’s just pretty cool to be on the court at the same time when they are getting those accomplishments.”
Along with the two achieving individual milestones, they both said they feel a sense of accomplishment in their sibling’s milestones.
“All of the work that we put in, almost all of it has been together,” Maci said. “When Kelsi scored 1,000 points, it felt like I was helping her out. We are big contributors to each other’s success.”
All of this coming from two kids who grew up spending time on their home court, seeing who could make the most free throws or “making up some random competition.” The two realize how lucky they were to grow up with someone just as skilled and competitive as themselves.
I just want to make the most of it and get as far as we can.
“A lot of people have siblings that are too young to practice with them or not the same skill level as them," Maci said. "I have always had a rebounder. We can always just decide together if we want to go shoot … and it’s nice that we have each other to do that.”
With Maci graduating in the spring, this season marks the final season together for the Martini sisters. With a current record of 24-3, the two want to make the most of the rest of the time they have together on the court.
“I just want to make the most of it and get as far as we can,” Kelsi said. “If that means a state tournament run, that would be awesome.”
“Coming into this year, we had all the same starters back,” Maci said. "We’ve had some injuries and health things at the beginning, but now we're all fully back ready to go … We're all just super competitive and want to get back to state if possible. We just really have that will to win.”
Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan .